Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Legal Help Live Show Notes 9-29-2010

-FTC targets Pom juice health claims – true or false is it a help effective against heart and prostate problems
-Segway company owner rides one off cliff to his death ...year bought the company that makes the Segway scooter fell to his death off a cliff...Heselden bought the New Hampshire-based Segway company in December. The former coal... British law restricts the use of Segway scooters to private land.
-'Pulpit Freedom Sunday' to Defy IRS-church
Pastors Across the U.S. Say They Will Defy Law and Talk Politics-ederal tax law, established in 1954, prohibits churches and tax exempt entities from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
-Mc cord divorce attorney for both changed words after document signed. Contract or no contract?
-Arrested 8 bell officials for corruption
-Vatican bank and alleged money laundering
-First execution set for 9-20-10 in new death room-will it happen? None since 1977
-Ohio University Sorry Its Mascot Attacked Ohio State's Brutus Buckeye
Government to implement planned tax on sweets, ice cream and soft drinks
Medical marijuana growers join Teamsters union
-OAKLAND, Calif. -- As organized labor faces declining membership, one of the country's most storied unions is looking to a new growth industry: marijuana.
The Teamsters added nearly 40 new members earlier this month by organizing the country's first group of unionized marijuana growers. Such an arrangement is likely only possible in California, which has the nation's loosest medical marijuana laws
-FINLAND-On Thursday, the government decided in its general session that a tax is to be levied on candies and similar sweets, chocolate, cocoa products, ice cream, and popsicles.
-Lindsay Lohan's probation revoked, arrest warrant issued-Paris Hilton pleads guilty rat pack continues-who care anymore?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Legal Help Live Show Notes

Legal Help Live offers legal suggestions each Wednesday at 4 PM. During the show the Hosts take calls from viewers with legal situations from parking tickets to personal injury. Viewers can catch the show on LA cable channel 36 or 16 in Santa Monica. Online the show can be viewed on LA36.org.

If you'd like to ask the Hosts a question call 1(800)405-4222

Show Notes 9-13-2010

-Plaintiffs May Sue Over Explosion -Lawsuits are likely on the horizon after last week's massive explosion and fire in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno that, as of Friday afternoon, had killed four people, destroyed and damaged more than 40 homes and injured dozens.
-Ageless Cher Turns Back Time to 1989 in a very familiar outfit at the MTV Video Music Awards-at 64
-Fitness guru Jane Fonda looks amazing at 72 in new workout DVD for old age pensioners. She is just as famous for her 1980s workout videos as she is for winning two Oscars and protesting the Vietnam War. And now, fitness guru Jane Fonda is stepping back into the lycra to release two new exercise DVDs - aimed at old age pensioners. As these pictures show, the 72-year-old actress has managed to maintain the amazing body she flaunted in skimpy aerobic leotards 25 years ago.
-Sponge left inside Palm Beach County judge during surgery nearly kills him-Palm Beach Post Staff Writer- It has been called the “surgeon’s dread.” The most common mistake made in surgery, according to medical journals, is leaving a sponge or instrument inside a patient. County Judge Nelson Bailey knows precisely what happens when something is left behind. After abdominal surgery at Good Samaritan Medical Center for diverticulitis, the pain in the judge’s belly only got worse. Repeatedly, he says, he returned to his primary doctor and complained. Repeatedly, he was sent for CT scans. And repeatedly, the metal marker on the sponge appearing in the scans was misidentified. For five months, the surgical sponge festered near Bailey’s intestines. The pus- and bile-stained mass measured more than a foot long and a foot wide when finally removed and unwound in March. “I was expecting something like a kitchen sponge,” the longtime judge said. “I was shocked.”
-Invalid conditions of criminal probation
-California DUI and Motorcycle Fatalities Highlight Big Declines in Overall Traffic Deaths /PRNewswire/ -- For the fourth year in a row, DUI deaths dropped in 2009. At the same time, motorcycle fatalities saw their first drop since 1998, marking the end to an 11-year, 175 percent increase. DUI and motorcycle deaths were just two of the highlights of a statewide decline in total traffic fatalities of 10.3 percent.
In figures released by the Federal government today, California recorded 950 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2009, a 7.6 percent decline from 1,025 in 2008. The 2009 totals mark a 26.8 percent drop from the 2005 high of 1,298. Motorcycle fatalities dropped by 29.6 percent, from 560 in 2008 to 394 in 2009. Total traffic fatalities from all causes fell from 3,434 in 2008 to 3,081 last year.
-California Supreme Court seems likely to uphold forced state furloughs-Los Angeles Times-The justices' questions to lawyers indicate they'll rule Schwarzenegger's furloughs legal. The furloughs sparked more than 30 lawsuits.
-Hermosa Beach tattoo parlor ban ruled unconstitutional by appeals court -By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times -Tattoos and the art of tattooing... Beach ban on tattoo parlors is unconstitutional...Cheat'n Heart Tattoo in Gardena, after...coastal community. Hermosa Beach officials had refused...said he expected Hermosa Beach officials to reconside
-Don’t ask don’t tell policy of military violates 1st amendment riverside district court judge rules
-FDA says e-cigarette companies must seek regulatory approval
The FDA targets five firms, warning them that e-cigs need to be approved as drugs and/or drug delivery devices.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Researchers see Rise in Children's-Sports Related Concussions (with comment by Stephen Jamieson)

By Jennifer Corbett Dooren Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The number of concussions suffered by school-age children appears to be rising even as participation in certain organized team sports declines, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The study, by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital and Brown University, both in Providence, R.I., is the first national look at concussions in school-age kids, who may be more vulnerable to long-term complications from such head injuries than adults.

The study looked at more than 500,000 emergency room visits for concussions in children ages 8-to-19 from 2001 to 2005 with a focus on concussions caused by sports injuries.

Of the approximately 502,000 emergency room visits for concussions, more than 252,000 were sports-related, which included individual sports like bicycling and snow-skiing as well as team sports.

Children ages 8-to-13 had a higher rate of sports-related concussions at 58% than children ages 14-to-19.

The study's lead author, Lisa Bakhos, who is now a pediatric emergency room doctor at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., said that while many studies have been conducted on the impact of concussions among high-school, college and professional athletes, little is known about sports-related concussions in school-age children.

"We really don't know what the long-term consequences [of concussions] are in kids," Bakhos said. Researchers speculate that concussions in the still growing brains of young children may produce more severe long-term developmental and cognitive problems than a similar injury in an adult. A concussion is caused when the brain is jarred from being hit and temporarily interferes with the way brain works, affecting things like memory, balance, judgment and even sleep patterns.

The study also looked at concussions in children and compared them with participation rates in five organized team sports-- baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey and soccer--from 1997 to 2007.

During that decade, participation in those sports declined by about 13%, but concussion-rated emergency room visits related to the same sports rose substantially during the same time period. ER visits for children ages 8-to-13 doubled from about 3,800 to 7,800, and among children ages 14-to-19, visits tripled from about 7,000 to 22,000.

Bakhos said researchers don't know if the reasons behind the increase are that team sports have become more competitive or if it's because of an increase in reporting rates, or both.

She also noted that the study looks at only ER visits for concussions, and so it underestimates the actual concussion rate. The National Institutes of Health estimates there are more than one million concussions annually in both children and adults.

Bakhos said parents shouldn't shy away from letting their kids participate in sports, but should make sure they and coaches are following good prevention strategies such as wearing helmets. While most athletes wear proper helmets and other protective gear during football games for instance, Bakhos said she's seen practices conducted without helmets.

**Comment by Stephen Jamieson**

Hi Jennifer, I read with great interest your article, as well as others that are coming out in other publications.
For years I have represented athletes who were put back in too early by coaches, trainers, and physicians.
Horrible consequences result from the athletes, particularly children, not accurately reporting how they are feeling and the "professionals" simply relying on the child's assessment of their own condition, without giving adequate weight to the fact that these kids want to "go back in" right away.
This has resulted in a number of 5 to 10 million dollar verdicts and settlements. Perhaps these verdicts and settlements, and the liability that goes with it, has helped to spur the professionals into action. I hope so anyway.
This baseline testing is excellent news.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Brain injuries among athletes and the preventative role appropriate lawsuits serve to make the coaches, trainers, and medical personnel more vigilant

Appropriate lawsuits in these instances can make sports safer.

I have represented brain injured and spinal injured athletes and recreators for many years.

The Supreme Court, however, issued several precedential decisions in 1993, and there are government immunities in place per statutes, in an attempt to severely limit liability for sports programs and other "risky" activities. I wonder if the aftermath of those cases and statutes, and their more recent progeny and refinements, have helped to increase the risk for athletes like you describe, and thus cause what appears to be a greater incidence of injuries.

In the United States we accept that people/companies generally tend to do the right thing, or at least more of it more often, when they otherwise risk civil or criminal liability for their failure to do the right thing, keep people safe, fix defective products, etc. Think about car manufacturers and manufacturers of other products, or wayward financial institutions, for examples.

The development over the years of the immunities available to government entities, like school districts, perhaps have allowed the administrators to become complacent in their duties to keep kids safe and to make sure that training and competition is done in the safest manner and method possible.

Perhaps the greater incidence of injuries, and difference in attitude, you describe in your articles is directly or indirectly the result of years of immunities taking their toll. These things seem to go in cycles and the current state of the law and immunities should be reviewed and evaluated in light of the serious and dangerous effect on our children. The Supreme Court and Legislators attempt to impose personal responsibility on those that engage in sports and recreation. Personal responsibility for one's actions and activities is certainly a laudable goal, but particularly when we are talking about children (even older college age "children"), subject to authority figures like coaches, trainers, and administrators perhaps requires more oversight and legal liability for those that do become complacent in satisfying those duties to our kids. Perhaps the personal responsibility should be that of those responsible for the training and programs, those that are tasked with increasing safety and reducing risk.

Appropriate lawsuits in these instances can make sports safer.

Stephen A. Jamieson, Esq.